This week, I'm here to introduce you to my favorite time of the day to photograph your pups - sunset golden hour! For those of you who don't know, golden hour is that period roughly one hour after sunrise or before sunset where the rising/setting sun tends to cast a golden glow on everything. Since it happens twice a day, you have twice the opportunity to capture the super dreamy mood that it creates.

However, if you've had your dog photographed by me, you also know that I (almost) always photograph at sunset. I have nothing against sunrise (I'm actually a morning person), but I've found that since I typically photograph during the week, sunset works best for my clients.

Young boy crouching next to an English Shepherd while they both look off into the distance

Ranger and his human Carson basking in the sunset golden hour light.

what's so great about golden hour?

I mean, I feel like I could just let the image above speak for itself. But in case you need more convincing, here are a few reasons why sunset golden hour in Sacramento is my favorite time to shoot:

  1. The light is more flattering. The sun at golden hour is lower in the sky, giving a softer, more diffuse light for your session. This light is better for both people and pets!
  2. You/your pup can look toward the sun without squinting. Although a lot of my photos are done with backlighting (where the sun is behind the subject), it's nice to also be able to utilize the sun to fully light up your pup from the front as well.
  3. The sun doesn't cast harsh shadows. The softer diffuse light casts longer, softer shadows. This is especially helpful when your pup is turned sideways or there are multiple subjects so that we don't end up with a huge shadow blocking half your pup's face.

but what about the summer heat?

As I'm writing this, I can imagine you asking, "But what about shooting at sunset golden hour when it's 110 degrees in Sacramento?" In case you're not from is currently 110 degrees here.

And I'll admit, that is the biggest drawback to photographing at sunset instead of sunrise. Fortunately, we usually only get a few days of 100+ heat, and then it cools back off into the 90s. And of course, your pup's health and safety are of the utmost importance. If it's going to be over 95 degrees, I'll reschedule our session at no extra cost. (Let's be honest, it's really because I think I might melt in that heat.)

As an aside, if you're ever down for a sunrise golden hour session, just let me know! I'm more than happy to accommodate for my fellow morning birds!

English Shepherd at sunset walking through a field toward the viewer

Ranger showing off that incredible sunset golden hour glow.

an extra bonus

One added bonus to photographing at sunset golden hour is if we hang out a little longer, I can capture some amazing silhouette shots of your pup! By photographing later in the day, I have the opportunity to watch the sky for interesting colors and unique cloud formations, which give that extra bit of pop to your dog's silhouette shot!

Silhouette of a Belgian Malinois dog at sunset.

Arawn at sunset.

How would you like to have your pet photographed in that dreamy sunset golden hour light? Book your complimentary consult to get started today!


Don't forget to continue following the blog circle to find out everyone's favorite time to photograph! Up next is Linda Perdue of VPShoots Photography - photographing your pet in the morning hours in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

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